It’s tough to be motivated to train all the time, and even more so during a pandemic in the middle of winter. If you’re experiencing a lull in training, don’t stress. Everyone lacks motivation from time to time, and as long as you stick with your training and continue to put in the work, you’ll get out of that rut eventually. If the promise of motivation returning “eventually” isn’t reassuring enough, try taking matters into your own hands. Here are five easy methods you can use to refocus in training and actually get excited for your runs again.
Plan new routes
The day before every run, take to Google and pick a new route. Look at the map of your city or town and search for places you’ve never run before. This might be easier for some runners than it is for others, as cities of course offer more options, but even if you’re from a small town, there could be a few streets or a trail system you haven’t explored before. Keeping things interesting and your routes fresh will help you stay engaged and excited to train.
Write down your goals
Knowing your goals is one thing, but writing them down takes them to the next level. Don’t just write the goals themselves down, though — write the steps to get you to each one. If you hope to run a sub-20-minute 5K, you can’t just expect to make that jump. You need to outline your path to that PB. Having a roadmap and knowing what you need to do to accomplish your goals will help you stay engaged and excited in training as you work to grow as a runner.
Download new tunes
Running is a great opportunity to listen to your favourite music or podcasts. If you’re lacking motivation to get out running, use your workout as a chance to listen to some new content. Download some different albums, playlists or podcasts and head out for your run. Even if you’re looking forward to the new music more than the run itself, it’s still a way to get excited to head outside. If you want to find some new songs or podcasts, check out these lists here and here.
When it comes to hard sessions, race yourself. If you’re running hills, keep track of how many reps you complete and the time for each one. Then, next hill session, go to the same spot and see if you can beat your best times or the total number of times you go up. If you’re doing speedwork, note your times for each lap and go into each workout knowing what you have to do to beat your PB. We can’t have competitions with other people right now, but your best competitor has always been yourself, so put your competitive drive to the test and get excited to race.
Use it as alone time
It’s OK to want to be alone, especially now when you’re stuck at home with the same people day after day. Your daily run might be your only chance to get some you-time. If you consider your run as a necessary break from home, work and whoever you live with, it might transform the way you look at your workouts, and soon enough you’ll be back to being full motivated to train.